Thursday, January 29, 2009

Granola Bars - Good, Easy, Frugal

I guess I've been slacking off. I was cleaning out Violinist's smarty pants car the other day hunting for missing lunch containers, when hiding amongst folders of sheet music, music stands, ice scrapers, wool socks, spare duffle coats and aha! the ubiquitously missing lunch containers, I found an half-eaten box of commercial granola bars.

The box originally held 18 little rectangular bits of granola dipped in chocolate and wrapped in foils. I lined up the remaining itty-bitty bars underneath my 9 x 13 baking dish and concluded that all the bars in this one box would fit neatly into the bottom of the baking dish. However, the commercial bars are less than half the thickness of my granola bars and have a lot of funny sounding ingredients listed on each foil.

When I questioned Violinist about it, he confessed he paid around 5.00 dollars. I think, with frugal shopping, buying the specials and making our own sweetened condensed milk (recipe is below), the cost to make Granola Bars is less, makes more and the ingredients not so scary. Violinist, Violinist, Violinist! Let your Mother make these things for you!

Granola Bars
  • 3 cups quick cook oats or enough pulverized large flake rolled oats to equal 3 cups
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, raw, unsalted
  • 1 cup coconut, dry unsweetened
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped dates or chocolate chips or other dried chopped fruit
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 300-ml. tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 heaping Tbsps. butter or margarine
  • pinch of salt
Mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
Beat softened butter/margarine,
egg, and vanilla together.
Add sweetened condensed milk to the egg, butter and vanilla. Mix well.
Pour the wet into the dry and mix well.
Spread into a well greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
Bake at 325 F for 25 minutes or until just golden. Remove from oven and let cool in the baking dish. When cooled down, cut with a very sharp knife into 24 or 16 big honking pieces as shown here.
If desired, they could be coated with melted chocolate. Mine have never lasted long enough for me to do that. :)

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups instant milk powder
  1. Combine water and sugar over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour mixture into blender or use a hand held blender and mix in butter, gradually adding the milk.
I haven't made this for awhile and my directions say that this equals one, 300 - ml. can of sweetened condensed milk. If you decide to use this for the bars, make sure you measure out only 300 mls. for the Granola Bar recipe.


Jeanne said...

Your recipes are fabulous
and so are YOU

Confusifying Linguification said...

Mmm - I haven't had breakfast yet and I'm getting quite hungry!

Decadent Housewife said...

Jeanne, CL, Thanks! :)

Sara said...

It seems I'm a little behind the times! lol! I found your recipe a few months ago, have used it to make a whole bunch of combinations, and love it to pieces! Thank you so much!